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Aug 12

Great American Vacation to Colorado: Giddy Up!

Last week I shared the first day of our last blast of summer fun, a trip to Colorado. The theme for day two was animals. And like everything in Colorado, we were on a mountain.

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The stable at the Broadmoor is reminiscent of a Western movie.

We started with a two-hour trail ride from the Stables at the Broadmoor. I was excited to head on horseback up Cheyenne Mountain, which is beside Colorado Springs. We arrived at the stable and were greeted by Eleanor, the teacup potbellied pig. My daughter was in love. Eleanor was adorable, and I suspect there will be a new pet request in my future. We each had a horse pre-matched to our skill set. I am very much a beginner so I was paired with a beautiful American Paint Horse, Chief.

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Posted at 8:01 am | Permalink
Mar 19

Exclusive: Sarah Darling’s Wedding Diary — It’s All in the Details

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- Bachelorette Bliss

Sarah Darling tries on a beautiful wedding dress. Is it “the one”? Follow this Great American Country blog series to find out which one she chose for the big day! Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Sarah Darling and James Muriel tied the knot in a secret spur-of-the-moment ceremony back in April 2013 — but they’re still planning a big Nashville wedding in May 2014 to celebrate with family and friends! Sarah’s sharing her personal wedding diary exclusively with Great American Country. She’ll take us along on the whole journey, from the dress to the flowers to the big day. Check back every other Wednesday for a new post from Sarah!

Designer Wedding:
Welcome back to my blog series! I am getting really excited for the big day. I have come to the most exciting part of planning – designing all the fabulous details for my wedding! From the fabulous farm tables to sweet mason jars with wildflowers, you can’t leave anything out. So I decided to sit down with wedding designer Trina Chaney-Hoo from The Planning Company to get ideas. They are a successful company based out of Florida and do the most beautiful weddings you’ve ever seen. She met with me and my two BFFs and we talked ideas.

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- It's All in the Details

Sarah Darling (center) and friend Jenn Bostic (right) meet with wedding designer Trina Chaney-Hoo (left). Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

A good designer knows his or her client. Trina had done her research before I arrived. I looked at an iPad full of amazing ideas that were totally me. One of my favorites involved mason jars with daises and lemons. Such a cute idea! Having a great designer will help bring your visions to life.

See Sarah’s Wedding Diary Photo Gallery >> Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:16 am | Permalink
Feb 28

CMA to Announce LP Field Performers for 2014 CMA Music Festival Via Social Media March 3

CMA to Announce LP Field Performers for 2014 CMA Music Festival Via Social Media March 3

CMA Music Festival at LP Field. Photo by Bennett Farkas, courtesy of the CMA.

CMA will utilize social networks to announce LP Field performers for the 2014 CMA Music Festival starting Monday, March 3. Every weekday from March 3-18, CMA will post clues on its social media platforms allowing fans to speculate and anticipate who will be performing during the Nightly Concerts at LP Field.

A full announcement of the LP Field lineup will follow the #CMAFestGuess social media campaign on Wednesday, March 19.

“We have a very strong, dedicated, and loyal social media audience,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “They are the ones who are constantly engaged with the Festival, so of course we want to let them be the first to find out who will be performing this year. Their passion for the music makes CMA Music Festival the world’s premier Country Music festival.”

A mock movie trailer announcing the campaign will be released on CMA’s social pages Sunday during the Oscars ceremony. “As the Oscars will be one of the largest nights of the year for social engagement, we felt it the perfect time to announce this innovative social campaign to our fans,” said Damon Whiteside, CMA Senior Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships.

Followers can use #CMAFestGuess to track the virtual clues. With more than two million followers across CMA’s social media platforms, Country Music fans are proving that they are digitally engaged and Internet savvy. The 2013 CMA Awards, which aired Nov. 6 on ABC, was the most tweeted-about television event of that week. Continue Reading

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Feb 19

Exclusive: Sarah Darling’s Wedding Diary: Sarah Chooses Her Wedding Venue

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- How to Use Social Media in Your Wedding

Sarah Darling tries on a beautiful wedding dress. Is it “the one”? Follow this Great American Country blog series to find out which one she chose for the big day! Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Sarah Darling and James Muriel tied the knot in a secret spur-of-the-moment ceremony back in April — but they’re still planning a big Nashville wedding in May 2014 to celebrate with family and friends! Sarah’s sharing her personal wedding diary exclusively with Great American Country. She’ll take us along on the whole journey, from the dress to the flowers to the big day. Check back every other Wednesday for a new post from Sarah!

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- Sarah Chooses Her Venue

Photo courtesy of Front Porch Farms.

Welcome back to my wedding blog series! Spring is almost here and the wedding is getting even closer. It’s now down to getting the little details in place. I wanted to do a special post on Front Porch Farms in Tennessee. This is where James and I will be getting hitched later this year! If you love the rustic country feel, this may be the venue for you, or at least give you some amazing ideas on what kind of setting you would like. I knew from the moment I stood on the property that it was “the one.”

The owners, Kathy and Brian Best, are the most lovely people with an amazing story. Kathy also is a wedding planner and coordinator. You may not have known this fact, but Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert had their engagement party at Front Porch Farms! The main house is located on top of a hillside with miles of magnificent views of the Tennessee countryside and the Harpeth River. Double porches, front and back, run the length of the house, allowing guests plenty of room and privacy to relax and enjoy the down-home comfort of porch swings and rocking chairs swaying in sweet rhythm under the cool southern breeze.

Since “The Notebook” is my favorite film, you can understand just why I love this. And James, being from England, really wanted to have a rustic style wedding. It is completely different than what he’s used to! Have you seen the movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral?” That is pretty much what it’s like! I have always imagined myself outdoors on that special day. The question is, where do you see yourself? It’s important to ask yourself so your wedding is everything you’ve ever wanted.

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary: Sarah Chooses Her Wedding Venue

Wedding board courtesy of James Muriel and Sarah Darling.

James is an amazing designer! Not only does he do graphics, he also dives a little deeper into branding by coming up with the look and feel of a product. Here is a beautiful “board” he put together for our wedding (above). A board is Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:23 pm | Permalink
Feb 14

Dierks Bentley Gets Honest About Valentine’s Day

Dierks Bentley Gets Honest About Valentine's Day

Dierks Bentley photo by Nino Munoz, courtesy of The Green Room.

Dierks Bentley isn’t sugarcoating his feelings about Valentine’s Day. Speaking “truth and honesty” on behalf of the guys – and some of the girls too – he calls the holiday a “difficult day.” Whether single or attached, Dierks has some strong opinions on what a good Valentine’s Day looks like.

“When you’re single, it’s stressful for like a month leading up to it, and inevitably, you do something wrong,” he said. “You don’t get the wrong thing or you say too much, and she’s wanting to get engaged faster than you want to get engaged. I don’t know. It’s just a very stressful holiday. I’m at a time in my life where I got a five-year-old, a three-year-old and a zero-year-old, and we’re just really trying to survive on a day-to-day basis.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 12:35 pm | Permalink
Feb 5

Exclusive: Sarah Darling’s Wedding Diary — How to Use Social Media in Your Wedding

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- How to Use Social Media in Your Wedding

Sarah Darling tries on a beautiful wedding dress. Is it “the one”? Follow this Great American Country blog series to find out which one she chose for the big day! Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Sarah Darling and James Muriel tied the knot in a secret spur-of-the-moment ceremony back in April — but they’re still planning a big Nashville wedding in May 2014 to celebrate with family and friends! Sarah’s sharing her personal wedding diary exclusively with Great American Country. She’ll take us along on the whole journey, from the dress to the flowers to the big day. Check back every other Wednesday for a new post from Sarah!

The Trending Bride

Welcome to blog number four! Can you believe it’s almost February!? Only a few months until the wedding day! It all goes so fast. For any of you who are planning a wedding right now, I hope you are enjoying the process of it all. That journey is the best part. Last time we talked about decor and flowers – and by the way, I’ve become obsessed with a flower called an anemone. Google it!

Sarah Darling making French Macarons

Photo courtesy of Sarah Darling.

I’ve also been making tons of French Macarons in all shapes, colors and sizes (photos above). I secretly have been practicing to make my own wedding cake. Yes, I said it! For those of you who know me, you know my love for baking, especially French baking! I thought it would be fun to add a personal touch to the wedding. I’ll let you know where I get to in the next blog. Those Macarons can be fickle to make!

Hashtags
In social media, a goal is to “trend” on Twitter or Facebook using hashtags. As a country music artist, social media has become my direct line to fans from all over the world. I love being able to connect with people who love the same things I do. So I was thinking, ‘Why not use social media for the best day of your life?’ There’s no better day to trend! Of course it may not have the same response as the #royalwedding with Kate and Wills but it’s fun and it’s your day.

See Sarah’s Wedding Diary Photo Gallery >>

Trending tips: Think about all the amazing things that brought you and your husband-to-be together. Do you have any special memories – something  that is unique to just the two of you? When I was thinking about this for James and me, my mind immediately went to an ocean scene. We spent a year and a half doing a long distance relationship. For any of you who have experienced that, it is not for the weak! I do believe it makes you stronger. There were so many times I would think about the Atlantic Ocean in between us.

One day I sent James this beautiful song via email called “Ocean Size Love” by Leigh Nash. Every word was written for us, I swear! That’s why I think #OCEANSIZELOVE is the most perfect hashtag for us! Don’t get me wrong, we could have gone with #Murielwedding2014 or #DarlingBrit but #OCEANSIZELOVE is perfect. So do me a favor. If you have any questions about wedding planning or want to send James and me a special message after reading this, use Continue Reading

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Posted at 5:02 pm | Permalink
Feb 4

Terri Clark Launches PledgeMusic Campaign to Fund New Album

Terri Clark

Terri Clark photo courtesy of Spalding Entertainment.

Terri Clark has launched a pre-order campaign through the direct-to-fan platform PledgeMusic for her next studio album, set for release in Fall 2014. The campaign will give Terri’s fans the option to contribute to the new record and receive updates throughout the recording process. View Terri’s PledgeMusic campaign >>

“Releasing a record this way allows me to have a closer connection with my fans throughout the entire process of making the album,” Terri said. “It allows me to offer all kinds of unique and personal experiences that they can be a part of. The music industry has changed so much, but the fans are always there with me. What better way to say ‘thank you’ than to bring them on this journey.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 5:23 pm | Permalink
Jan 29

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Heart & Jason Mraz to Headline Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Fundraiser

Vince Gill

Vince Gill photo by Tim Wright, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s All for the Hall fundraiser will return to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly three years on Tuesday, March 4, at Club Nokia. It will again follow a “guitar pull” format, featuring performances by Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Heart and Jason Mraz. Actress Rita Wilson will serve as the event’s host.

“California, with its rich country music history, has proven to be a supremely appropriate and welcoming location for this event,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “In fact, some of the state’s contributions to our genre are the subject of our very popular limited-engagement exhibition, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country, whose run we’ve extended through the end of 2014. Los Angeles has always given our All for the Hall event a very warm welcome, and we look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in March.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 3:56 pm | Permalink
Dec 18

2013 Rewind: No. 9 – Country Marriages & Babies

2013 Rewind: No. 9 - Country Marriages & Babies

Ashley Monroe and John Danks were married on October 24, 2013 at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. Photo by Blu Sanders, courtesy of Regina Stuve.

Wedding bells were ringing for country stars throughout 2013. Ashley Monroe married Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks in a ceremony at Blackberry Farm in October. Blake Shelton officiated the wedding while Miranda Lambert, Ashley’s fellow Pistol Annies member, served as maid of honor.

“I married my best friend,” Ashley told People magazine. “He has such a good heart.” She also told the magazine that Miranda was not only her maid of honor, she was also their wedding planner.

See how the stars say “I Do” in our Country Weddings gallery >>

Share YOUR wedding photos with us! >>

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Posted at 2:09 pm | Permalink
Dec 4

Garth Brooks Announces Two Nights of Full Band Shows in Las Vegas

Garth Brooks Announces Two Nights of Full Band Shows in Las Vegas

Garth Brooks photo courtesy of Nancy Seltzer & Associates.

After more than four years of sold out one-man shows inside the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas and the Great American Country special, Garth Brooks: Blame It All On My Roots – 5 Decades of Influences, Garth Brooks has announced he’ll do two nights of full band shows, also at Wynn Las Vegas. Fans can see “Garth Brooks: The Man, His Band and His Music,” on Jan. 3 and 4, 2014 at 7 and 10:30 p.m.

“I’ve been itching for the chance to bring my band to Vegas to play this room,” said Garth. “I can’t wait. Steve Wynn told me I could use the theater anytime. I asked him when I could start and his response was, ‘How about New Year’s Eve?’”

While Garth’s critically acclaimed one-man shows at Wynn Las Vegas focused on the musical influences that he credits for his own sound and becoming the No. 1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, the New Year’s Eve weekend shows will consist of the country music legend’s own repertoire of chart-topping songs accompanied by his full band.

If you missed the Great American Country special, Garth Brooks: Blame It All On My Roots – 5 Decades of Influences, or just want to see it again, tune in Saturday, December 14 at 8/7c! See a sneak peek and additional airtimes >>

Garth’s relationship with Wynn Las Vegas began in 2009 when he announced Continue Reading

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Posted at 11:35 am | Permalink